Qualifications Review 2018

CIPS has embarked on a review of its professional qualifications from Certificate through to Professional Diploma. This review ensures that CIPS qualifications will continue to meet the future challenges and demands of global organisations and the procurement and supply profession as a whole.  

    CIPS Exams in 2019

    Be exam prepared with six exam sessions a year starting in 2019

    From 2019 CIPS will offer exams for the updated 2018 qualifications globally in:

    January March May July September November

    Students can use the additional exam sessions to spread out their studies over a full year

    We’ve redesigned our qualifications after an extensive review and consultation with practitioners and academics drawn from across the world.  The changes are being introduced in stages allowing you plenty of time to plan ahead whilst still continuing on your CIPS journey.

    In terms of flexibility, one of the most significant changes we’ve made to our qualifications is the introduction of computer based exams at all levels. This will enable us to give you more opportunities per year to take exams and get your results more quickly.

    Getting ready for Computer Based Exams [CBE]

    As part of our flexible approach to study, many of our exams will be computer based. You can sit these at our approved CBE centres. These new format exams reflect real-life daily working practices and include up-to-date tools to help you to present and edit answers easily. They are designed to test the same level of learning and will be assessed and marked in the same way as paper-based exams.

    The new computer-based exam functionality is simple and easy to use here’s a quick guide

    Find out about the new 2019 exam timetable and fees

    Updates to the diploma qualifications in 2019

    In July 2018 we sent out an email communication to all students who have taken an exam on the 2013 syllabus. This email is aimed at students who are currently studying towards the Level 4 Diploma, Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply and it contains important information about your exam schedule. More

    2018 syllabus transfer arrangements

    2018 Syllabus Transfer Arrangements

    Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Professional Diploma

    There will be no changes to the diploma levels syllabus in 2018, an update will be released in July 2018.  So don’t slow down or stop as everything that you achieve will be valid under the revised qualifications. You should also speak to your CIPS study centre if you have any questions.

    Your transfer arrangements will be available early 2019.  

    2018 Qualifications Syllabus

    Your first opportunity to take the updated CIPS Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations exams will be in March 2019. If you are registered with a CIPS approved study centre ask if they are planning to hold exams earlier in January 2019.

    We want to ensure a seamless transfer for you from the 2013 to the 2018 syllabus and remind you that any units that you have already achieved will remain valid and will count towards your final award. You will not be disadvantaged in any way as we update our qualifications.

    So what’s new? Take a look at what’s changed

    ‘Units’ have been renamed as ‘Modules’

    In the updated 2018 qualifications syllabus you will notice that we refer to modules rather than units. Each module has an allocated number of credits and new students from 2018 will be expected to complete the required number of credits for each qualification before they can achieve the award.

    What are credits?

    Each module is given a credit value of 3 or 6 credits.

    The total credit number to complete each qualification is:
    Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations: 18 credits
    Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations: 30 credits

    Your total learning time has changed

    Credits required for completion

    The total amount of learning time you will be required to complete for these awards has increased but this won’t affect the number of exams you will have to take to complete these qualifications.

    Why have they increased?

    CIPS Qualifications must continue to represent the diverse sectors and skillsets required within the profession. Each qualification has been updated using CIPS Global Standard for Procurement and Supply V3.0 as their base. This Standard reflects current and emerging best practice in procurement and supply. The key for CIPS qualifications is to support the flexibility and agility which the profession requires. They must address the challenges associated with today’s fast moving business environment.

    Here are some simple tips for you to follow:

    • The qualification award names have not been changed, the exit award has stayed the same.
    • We will automatically transfer any successfully completed units in the 2013 syllabus and your updated final Qualifications Plan will show this in your MyCIPS account in February 2019.
    • You will never be expected to repeat learning already achieved.
    • You will be expected to complete the required number of credits to complete the award.

    What will the transfer look like from 2013 to 2018 qualifications syllabus?

    Anyone who has passed exams or has been awarded exemptions on 2013 syllabus will be given credits for subjects within the updated 2018 syllabus.

    Try the quick qualifications transfer tool

    Download transfer arrangements table for CIPS Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations 

    Download the updated Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations 2018 syllabus

    Download transfer arrangements table for the CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

    Download the updated Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations 2018 syllabus

    Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

    Sample Papers

    Level 2 Module 1
    Level 2 Module 2
    Level 2 Module 3
    Level 2 Module 4
    Level 2 Module 5

    Level 2 Specification


    Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

    Sample Papers

    Level 3 Module 1
    Level 3 Module 2
    Level 3 Module 3
    Level 3 Module 4
    Level 3 Module 5
    Level 3 Module 6

    Level 3 Specification


    Computer based exams (CBE)

    We’ve already introduced computer based exams worldwide, many of our current exam centres have already started to use the new system. All of the exams for the revised Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations qualifications will be delivered using CBE. See our qualifications review page for an update on the future of CIPS exams.

    2018/19 Exam timetable

    Your new exam timetable including the updated 2018 syllabus Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate qualifications will become available in August 2018, along with confirmation of exam fees for 2018/19.   

    Learning resources

    We are currently developing new learning resources for all modules in the 2018 syllabus. New learning resources for all of the Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate modules will be available in September 2018. These resources will include new study guides, ebooks and e-learning to support your continuing qualifications journey. We will publish full details of different resources and their costs during August 2018. It is CIPS intention that the cost of resources will not be more than that for the 2013 syllabus resources, other than annual incremental costs.

    Remember: Keep your email details up to date to ensure you receive any updates, we will also post any updates on www.cips.org/qualifications2018 and our social media groups.

    The future of CIPS exams

     of students would prefer to take computer based exams.

    In our recent student member survey 90% of respondents said they would prefer to take computer based exams (CBE) rather than on paper.

    Following this feedback it is a logical next step for CIPS to focus on transforming exams to become fully computer based. Many people now expect to study and take their exams on screen which reflects our modern day working environment. Read our studying member newsletter March 2018 issue to find out more about the future of CIPS exams.

    What happens next?

    A key element of the review is to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by any changes to the current syllabus. We strongly recommend that you don’t stop or delay your studies; everything you achieve will remain valid with the introduction of the updated 2018 qualifications.

    Keeping you informed

    To ensure that you receive all communications about the progress of our qualifications review, please keep your contact details up to date in your MyCIPS account at all times. We will provide information about the review to all students in a timely way.

    Speak to your CIPS Study Centre

    You can also speak to a CIPS Study Centre about your studies as we provide them with regular updates as the qualifications review progresses.

    When will the changes affect me?

    Students on CIPS Certificate and Advanced certificate in procurement and supply operations qualifications
    The remaining assessment opportunities on the current qualifications are May 2018July 2018 and November 2018. Book exams.

    Students on Diploma, Advanced diploma and Professional diploma in procurement and supply qualifications

    The last opportunity to take exams on the current syllabus for these diploma level qualifications is May 2019.

    The first opportunity to take exams based on the updated 2018 syllabus will be July 2019.

    Your questions answered

    About Computer based exams

    Will Computer Based Exams be available in all areas?

    CBEs will be available globally for OR exams subject to demand. There will be some countries where constructed response exams will remain on paper.  We will continue with two paper-based exam series for constructed response exams per year in May and November in select locations only.

    Embracing Comptuer Based Exams

    We are taking a country-by-country approach to transferring our exams so that changes are implemented only when a country is ready for them and has the capabilities to administer CBEs.  We will continue to add new CBE centres as more come on board.   

    We will provide an exam venue finder in November 2018.

    What are Computer based exams (CBEs)?
    From July 2018 our Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate exams will be available globally as CBEs in selected locations. A full global roll-out for all CIPS qualifications will commence in 2019 and will include the diploma qualifications. Please contact your study and exam centres to check on available locations and to get more information about availability of CBEs.


    Exam candidates will sit their exam at an exam centre and will be supervised in-person by an invigilator. Instead of taking a paper-based exam, it will be replaced by a computer.

    Candidates will use a locked-down computer, so once the exam commences, candidates cannot navigate away from the exam until it has been securely submitted back to CIPS.

    Will I get a my results sooner?
    Yes. Candidates will receive their results more quickly than paper-based exams.

    Will I get a report on my exam performance?
    Yes. Along with the results, candidates will be given access to a personal report based on their performance of learning outcomes of the module. This will provide you with an indication of which learning outcomes you are strong and those that you will need to gain deeper knowledge and understanding.

    What is the new exam (assessment) schedule?
    View the key dates and timetables pages for more information.

    How will I access my exam on the day?
    Candidates be given clear instructions by the invigilator. 

    Will there be time to practise?
    Yes. You will be given lots of opportunity to familiarise yourself with the system leading up to the exam allowing you to focus on the exam questions on the day. 

    What happens if we lose internet connection during an exam?
    Our computer based exams can be run at test centres without the need for internet connectivity, so there is no need to be concerned about this. 

    Will CBEs be available at all CIPS exam centres?
    85% of our exam centres can currently accommodate CBEs. For those that can’t we are working with them to ensure that they will have the required facilities. 

    What will the new system look like?
    We will be able to provide candidates with a preview of what the system will look like over the coming weeks. Please keep your email address up to date in your MyCIPS account to make sure you receive your updates. You can also check this webpage and join our social media groups.

    How will CIPS maintain the standards and rigour of exams?
    Our system will hold many different questions based on the learning outcomes for each of our qualifications. Each CBE will consist of randomised questions pulled from these question banks which minimises the chances of any candidate getting the same set of questions.

    Will my exam answers be secure?
    Yes. CIPS is not alone in moving to CBE. We will be using a tried and tested system that is currently being used by many other professional bodies.

    About CIPS Qualifications Review 2018

    Why has there been a review?
    The review is undertaken to ensure we continue to offer leading–edge thinking within our syllabus content. As employers demand for talented, qualified professionals continues to grow it’s no surprise to us that the needs and expectations of our learners also evolves.  

    CIPS regularly reviews the structure and content of it’s qualifications.  Part of the reason for this is the commitment we have to our regulator, Ofqual.

    Where do I get further information and who should I contact to discuss how the updated qualifications might impact upon my studies?
    This is the dedicated webpage for updating communications to students about the Qualifications Review 2018. All relevant and up-to-date information can be found here. You should regard this page as your primary source for up to date information about the review.

    You can also speak to a CIPS Study Centre about continuing your studies as we provide them with regular updates as the qualifications review progresses.

    Another way of keeping up to date will be to read your monthly online student newsletter 'Knowledge Update' and look out for CIPS posts in our social media channels. 

    We will also be providing regular email updates so it’s important to keep your email address up-to-date in your MyCIPS account.

    When will the new learning resources be available?      
    All of these resources are currently in production and will be released in time for studying towards the updated qualifications.

    Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations learning resources including coursebooks,  ebooks and elearning will be available from October 2018

    Level 4 Diploma, Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply learning resources will be available from February 2019.

    All of the current resources in the Student Zone will continue to be a membership benefit for any of CIPS studying members.

    Why are the updated Certificate qualifications available before Diploma level qualifications?
    This is to give CIPS time to create all of the new resources for CIPS Study Centres and students.  CIPS has committed to producing new resources for tutors and learners in plenty of time before the updated qualifications are available.   

    How much will the new Coursebooks cost?
    A new prices structure will be available during August 2018 Please make sure you keep your contact details up to date to ensure you receive communications. 

    Will books be available online?              
    We are currently developing paper based and e-books. We’ve listened to your feedback and our intention is to provide options for both starting from October 2018.

    How much will e-books cost?   
    A new price structure will be available shortly. Please make sure you keep your contact details up to date to ensure you receive communications.  

    I’m halfway through my studies – what do the changes mean to me?

    There is no need to stop what you are doing as everything already achieved will remain valid. 

    Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

    If you are currently studying the Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations you can find out about the transfer arrangements using our online qualifications transfer tool.

    The update 2018 syllabus content will be available from October 2018.

    Level 4 Diploma,  Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply

    If you are currently studying any of the diploma level qualifications your transition arrangements will be made available during November 2018.

    It’s important to keep your contact details up to date in MyCIPS to ensure you receive update communications.

    Will the way I take exams change? 
    Yes, we’ve listened to your feedback and there will be changes to our exams. More about exams  

    When will I take the new assessments?              
    A new assessment schedule to follow the November 2018 assessment series is currently in development and we will provide this schedule in shortly.  

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